12 January 2021

Free For All Tuesday - No. 519

So what questions or discussion points have you got for us today?

It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or a more experienced user of organisers, we want to hear your thoughts, questions, opinions etc.

We are here to answer your questions.

Make today the one day you post a comment or a question.

It is Tuesday after all so fire away with any questions and comments.


  1. Has anyone used a bound planner? I’m not taking about a wire-bound planner but a book bound planner. If so, what are the pros and cons?

    1. I think you have “twitchy planner syndrome”! I watch your videos. They are very good. I found them though philofaxy. I can’t imagine that you would be comfortable in a bound planner. Take a few deep breaths and remember that no planner system is perfect.

  2. I used a bound planner years ago, but found it slightly frustrating if there were pages or items I wanted to add/remove. It was also sometimes difficult to write in due to the 'spine' of the book.

    Since then I've tried several different formats, but seem to have finally settled on the Staples ARC system, after my local Staples store was taken over by Office Outlet, who reduced all the ARC stock to ridiculously low prices! After discovering this system, I then went 'all-in', purchasing the rather expensive hole-punch from elsewhere.

    The ARC system just works for me. I can move pages around at will, add new layouts whenever I want, chuck out old pages no longer required etc.

    The only other thing I had to do was purchase slightly thicker (100gsm) paper, so it is a bit more robust when you're moving pages around.

    Staples still operate (in the UK at least) online and the various ARC components are still available for anyone who is interested.

    1. Hey Illy. I never heard of the Staples ARC system until now so I googled it. It reminds me of a TUL notebook. It looks very professional and appears to the held together by disks. A nice option.

  3. Yes, and still do for various uses.

    Besides the obvious difference that you can't remove pages (unless you cut them out) from a bound planner, the main issue I think is whether you need/want the flexibility of a ring binder versus the set, fixed nature of a bound planner.

    While having the flexibility of a ring binder can be very good, I think it also creates a lot of anxiety for some people due to the complete freedom it allows. Some people get too concerned about do I have the right inserts or layout or sequence of pages, is it too crammed full of pages, should I go with small or large rings, etc., and end up spending more time trying to create the right setup than just using the ring binder as a tool.

    Once you have bought a bound planner, you just use it, generally speaking, unless you buy a blank bound journal and have to do your own page design on them. So, I find that while I give up the flexibility of a ring binder with the bound journal, once I accept that condition, in return you get a certain peace of mind from not thinking about all the 'what ifs' of how I might setup a ring binder, and I focus on just using it as a planner.

    The other benefit I find with bound planners is that at the end of the year, I just get another one for the new year and put the one I just finished on the bookshelf, easily accessible if I need it and no worry about where to put all the pages from the ring binder, or accidentally getting those pages out of order, etc. or how easily it is or not retrieve info from those loose pages at a future date, etc.

    Having said all this, still think ring planners are good and useful, and I use both types.

    It's all about what's more important to you and which trade-offs are you willing to make. No right or wrong answer. Just go with what works best for you!

    1. Hi ArchiMark. I love your answer and you brought up some really great points. Since I take pictures and do videos of my ring bound planner on Instagram and Youtube, I often have to remove pages with personal information and then put them back. It makes me feel scattered when I do that and I do worry about putting the pages in the wrong order. So a pre-bounded planner is beginning to appeal to me. Like you said, there's less to worry about with a bound planner but less flexibility.

  4. I love the flexibility of a ring binder. I try to keep it small for portability and am in A6 this year. Loving that size and squarer format. When life busies up I'll go back to my trusty A5s. xxx

  5. Check the Plannerisms blog for more information. There’s a link on this site. It’s usually on the right as you scroll down.